24 answers

3 Mo Old Can't Breath Through Nose at Night.

My three month old son has been stuffed up since birth. He was diagnosed with reflux when he lost his voice at 1 1/2 mo old. He was placed on Zantac and Reglan. His breathing is better during the day now and he has his voice back. I keep him upright most of the day. At night he sleeps in his bouncy seat to stay upright, and I keep a steam vaporizor next to his crib. By a few hours into the night, he sounds so stuffed up, that he often becomes agitated. I can't suction anything out, and saline drops don't work. It is all in his sinus area. I would love for him to be able to sleep lying down and be able to breath with out sounding like he is suffocating. Three and a half months has been long enough for him to deal with this. Thanks for any advise.

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Have you seen an allergy and immune specialist. Doctor Onders and Stauder are awesome. Maybe there is something they can do to help. They are located off of Ballas. Here is there number ###-###-####. They also have an office in O'Fallon

Have you tried a little "Vicks" ? Mix a little (1 part to 1 part)with Vaseline.(So it is not so strong for such a young child) Smear just a little of it on the end of his nose (or just under his nose) before you put him down at night.
It's a very old fashioned thing, but tried and true for a stuffy nose.

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I had this problem and my pediatrician put my daughter on soy milk. I know there's some controversy about soy and little ones but I know it cleared her up right away. It was such a relief to know she was sleeping and breathing better. She's turning 8 and has actually just now been able to drink regular milk.

Good luck!

Have you seen an allergy and immune specialist. Doctor Onders and Stauder are awesome. Maybe there is something they can do to help. They are located off of Ballas. Here is there number ###-###-####. They also have an office in O'Fallon

Hi J.,

My son had reflux two months after birth. Needless to say we had a tough year. He didn't have to the point of losing his voice though. We tried everything to elevate him. We tried elevating parts of the basenett. It worked for a while, but as he grew we had another obstical to overcome. When we tried elevating the matress of the crib, he was still so small he would just slip down to the bottom. We tried his swing, but you can only be comfortable for so long in that. Finally, I said let's put him in his punkin seat while in the stroller. To my surprise it worked! It was the perfect elevation for him. He slept like that from 3 months to 7 months without any problems. As for the steam vaporizor, we used a warm air humidufier. It worked great. The warm air helped with his congestion. We use it today for when he gets a cold and it still works. Can you believe he sleeps though the night soundly with a terrible cold! The trick is to keep the room moist. So start the humidifier well before it's his bedtime and keep the door closed. My son slept with us in our room in the punkin seat / stroller so our room was humid alot but is was woth it because he was slepping well and so were we. My son is now 14 months and his reflux is gone. The good news is they grow out of it. This depends on the child as to when. My pediatrition told me it can take up to three years. We were seeing a GI specialist as well and he was great. My son was on Prevacid dissovable tablets and that worked great for him. We tried Zantac, but ti didn't work. Some advice I would like to share with you that the GI specialist said to my husband and I is, If your child is not symptom free on the medication he is on, then we need to try something else. the key is to controling the symptoms until the reflux stops. If you haven't seen a GI specialist do so. Your son may have other issues with his GI tract other than reflux. Sometimes when reflux is present, something else may be the cause of the reflux. Meaning the reflux is the rusult of another underlying cause. I hope I have been of some help to you. Good luck to you and your family. I know how difficult it can be when you have a reflux baby. I had it myself for two years and it was the worst experience. I knew what my baby was going through. Your little girl is in my prayers.

Best of luck,
A. H.

Have you been to the nose, ears and throat Dr.? My sone had the same problem of not breathing through his nose... He had inflamed adnoids... Hope this helps and good luck

instead of the steam vaporizer, try the cool mist humidifier. See if that helps.

I would go see a pediatric ENT. He sounds like my nephew. He was three months old when they diagnosed him with a sinus infection that he'd had for about a month and a half. Once he was on the correct medication he was fine and was sleeping fine at night afterwards. He also couldn't sleep at night flat and slept really well when someone was holding him upright on their chest. His breathing always seemed labored. But like I said, it was a sinus infection. Good luck and God Bless.

My son was constantly conjested and suffered from chronic ear infections. He would be totally fine during the day and than once evening hit he would start crying. He slept in the swing for almost four months until we had tubes put in as all the antibiotics did not work. However for babies with reflux having them sleep in a sitting/reclined position actually puts pressure on their little bellies that can make them even more uncomfortable. There is a harness (I think it is a Tracy harness) that you can use to help hold the baby on an elevated mattress that reclines enough to alleviate the reflux but not so much that causes pressure. Take care.

My 3 month has reflux as well, she was diagnosed at 5 days. She's never spit up-only regurgitates and has acid reflux. If I put her in the bouncy or swing she gets congested. my Dr said those are the two worst positions to put a reflux baby in. She sleeps on my chest and I sleep sitting up. This is the only way to keep her from becoming congested and coughing. Also, the specialist said only to lay her on an elevated surfacce-tummy down. I bought a wedge pillow from Bed Bath and Beyond so when I do have to lay her down she is elevated about 10 inches (they recommend 16 "). The sitting position puts pressure on their tummies and forces the acid up. It took several days of doing this for the congestion to go away. She also has to take prevacid twice a day. My Dr's were against reglan because it can impair brain developement. Hope this helps!

Have you taken back to the dr, or maybe another dr? Has he been checked for an infection? I'm not for pumping antibiotics, but sometimes you need to to avoid damage.


This week I just had my 3 year olds tonsiles, adanoids and they did some work on his tissues in his nose to help open it up inside there. He has sounded like Darth Vador since birth. But since Tuesday he doesn't snore much and doesn't sound stuffed up all the time. You may want to talk to your doctor about going to an ENT. We have a wonderful ENT Doc here and he does great work with the kids. Hope this helps. Hope you can get him to sounding and feeling better.

I agree with the posts below: get a referral from your ped. for a GOOD ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor and ask about his adenoids and tonsils. (Adenoids rest in the nasal passages almost on top of the tonsils - you just can't see them by looking in the mouth or nose without special equipment) I used to work as a speech-language pathologist and had lots of kids with chronic 'stuffiness'. Their nasal passages were so small and, in some cases, their adenoids were huge (often irritated and swollen due to allergies). So - I suggest starting there. Good luck with you and your little one.

I am 8 months pregnant and learning a lot from this site, so I hope it helps with you and your family too! :)

i had to put my daughter on allergy nasal drops to help with this. she also was on breathing treatments. the acid reflux is hard to deal with i did the same things you are doing she has finally grown out of it at 15 months but still is on medicine for it. she still on occasions spits up. if you need more ideas fill free to email me or if you have question you can to.

It sounds like he may have very large adnoids and tonsils. My son had such large adnoids that he slept with his head bent all the way back so he could breath. He was always congested. He had both removed and he is so much better. No more ear infections and illness!! You might have to wait a while but I have heard of them removing adnoids and tonsils on 1 year olds. Technology is great; it is a much easier surgery now. Best of luck!!

Hi J.-
Do you breastfeed or formula feed? Something to think about is allergies. Chronic nasal stuffiness is many times due to allergies...airborne or food. If he is on formula it could be an allergy to the formula. If breastfeeding it could be something you are eating that is in the breastmilk as what you eat does go into the breastmilk. Does he have any skin rashes or has he had ear infections also? These are all signs of allergies too. You might consider taking him to a chiropractor who can do very mild adjustments that have been known to alleviate sinus problems as well as many other issues. Sometimes if there is a sublixation in the spine from childbirth it can causes these things. Especially since it has been going on since birth. I have three children and have taken all of them as babies to our chiropractor for adjustments. Many will do this for free since they are babies. If interested, I have the name of an incredible chiro who works with children and babies alot. They take some insurances and have four children themselves. I know they could help your baby! I hope he gets well soon!

Cardin Chiropractic
9159 W. 133rd
Overland Park, KS

Well J.--I can SO relate! My son who is now almost 20, was just like that when he was a baby. Turns out he had 'chronic sinus disease'. Your son is still tiny but I would ask the doctor to really check out his sinuses. I even took an audio recording to the ear nose and throat specialist so he could hear my son snore. He also had bouts of apnea--I swear I did not sleep for 3 years lol. My son eneded up having tubes in the ears at 10 months, tonsils and adnoids out at 2 1/2, sinus surgery 'windows' at 5 and more tubes at 9yrs. And MANY doctor visits with MANY antibiotics of all kinds. Sometimes there are polyps, or blockages of some kind in the sinuses or bad inflammation from infections due to lack of proper draining of natural mucus flow (yuck). I am not saying your son will have anywhere near these problems-I certanly hope not---but I would keep a close eye on it and ya know, sometimes you have to INSIST to doctors that this or that needs to be checked out.. Don't always think that they always are 100% on top of things. I really feel for you. Oh also it could be allergies---BUT they always say that the kids will eventually outgrow all of this--and my son did. BUT it is no fun while you have to go through it! Good luck!!

Have you thought about a crib sling? Check out this site: http://www.pollywogbaby.com/refluxandcolic/refluxwedgesfo... & talk to your dr. about positioning. Preemies with relux sleep better on their tummies, but only with an apnea monitor!

God Bless!

Poor you and poor baby. First of all, you're doing everything right. My son has reflux too, and at 6 1/2 months, he still sleeps in his cradle swing during the night b/c I don't want to lay him flat after nighttime feedings. We finally stopped using a humidifier round the clock about a month or so ago. FYI, I thought the warm mist humidifier seemed to work better (I had to be careful with my 3 year old in that room- we had no problems with it). We keep him upright during the day aside from floor time, which he gets after waking up, before eating/nursing. We tried Zantac first but noticed no help. We have had him on Prevacid for a few months, but to be honest, I didn't notice a huge difference with that, as far as spitting up goes. The thing that helps the most with my son is giving him solids (cereal especially), and putting a little rice cereal in his bottle. He still spits up after most breastfeedings, and can't drink more than about 4 ounces without spitting up a ton unless it's thickened a little. His was less severe than your son's, but similar. I hope some of this helps. Aside from that, it might just take time- I'm sorry.

Have you tried a little "Vicks" ? Mix a little (1 part to 1 part)with Vaseline.(So it is not so strong for such a young child) Smear just a little of it on the end of his nose (or just under his nose) before you put him down at night.
It's a very old fashioned thing, but tried and true for a stuffy nose.

You might try rubbing his chest & back with some vicks vapor rub as well as rub a little under his little nose & neck area. Do watch him through the night or day to see how this works for him. Good luck & God Bless!

Have your physician check his tonsils. My children both (twins) struggled with this as well. I actually thought they were going to stop breathing. At first, we thought it was allergies, but it turned out to be enlarged tonsils and adinoids (sp?). The adinoids actually sit behind the sinuses. Once they had them both removed, the were able to breath fine. Take him to see an ENT. I have the name of a SUPER pediatric ENT in St. Louis if you are interested.

I use that Vick's Vapor Rub for Babies on my baby when he is stuffed up. I would ask your doctor though to make sure it is ok.


I agree with RW, get some answers. That poor baby. My son coughed for 3 months straight when he was about 5. We tried every cough medicine the doctor prescribed until finally we were sent to an asthma doc. Guess what? He had "cough variant asthma." I feel bad I wasn't more proactive and demanding. My son suffered far longer than was necessary. Good luck to you :)

Hi J. -

I am sorry that you and your sweet little baby are going through this. I assume by reading your post that you discussed this with his pediatrician but I wonder if you shouldn't insist that he see a pediatric Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor. My son's pediatrician is awesome and I really like him but when my son suffered from pulmonary issues for quite some time I finally on my own sought out care from an asthma & allergy doc. I just felt like his doc wasn't being aggressive enough with respect to treating his asthma. My son had problems for several years and went to see the asthma & allergy doc and after the FIRST visit we had a new treatment plan and guess what? His asthma is much better controlled and he feels SO much better. I wish I had done it much sooner obviously! So, from the sounds of things with your little guy it might be time for someone else's opinion. It certainly could not hurt anything!
Hope he feels better and rests better! Good luck and God Bless! :)


I identify with you on this. My daughter got a stuffed nose at two months. It lasted for almost two months, and we were doing the same things, sleeping in swing, humidifier, lifting the head end of crib mattress...The only thing I could equate it with was her vaccinations...it started the night that she got her two month vaccinations. I don't want to start a big debate, but some children do have adverse reactions to them.

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